Red and purple berries like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are a rich source of natural plant pigments called anthocyanins, which are strong antioxidants. These antioxidant anthocyanins may play a role in reducing inflammation – and lowering the risk of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Eating berries is a good way to get these powerful compounds, but there’s another food that’s loaded with anthocyanins that fewer people know about – black rice bran.
What is Black Rice Bran?
Black rice bran comes from black rice, a special heritage type of rice, grown in China. So highly regarded was black rice historically that only Chinese nobility was allowed to eat it. Fortunately, times have changed.
Like brown rice, black rice isn’t processed to remove the outer husk, which means it still has the fiber and vitamins that white rice lacks. Black rice has the distinction of being even more healthy and nutritious than brown rice because it contains higher levels of anthocyanins, which give it its distinctive purple-black coloration.
Since the bran of black rice contains much of the fiber and vitamins, it’s not surprising that black rice bran would be a nutritional powerhouse. Not only is it a good source of anthocyanins, it also contains high levels of vitamin E, an important antioxidant vitamin, which may lower the risk of heart disease by preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Other Benefits of Black Rice Bran
Black rice bran compares favorably to blueberries when it comes to antioxidant power. A single teaspoon of black rice bran has the same amount of anthocyanins as an equal-sized serving of blueberries – with more fiber and less natural sugar. Black rice bran is a good fiber-rich source of antioxidants for people who don’t enjoy eating berries.
Where to Find Black Rice Bran and How to Use It
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find black rice bran, although that could change as the health benefits come to light. You can get similar benefits by eating black rice, although you’d have to eat ten times more to get the benefits of eating the bran.
One alternative is to buy black rice and grind the dry kernels in a coffee grinder or food processor to create a powder. This powder can be sprinkled on hot or cold cereal for extra fiber and antioxidants or used as a substitute for some of the flour when baking.
The Benefits of Black Rice Bran: The Bottom Line?
If you want more powerful anthocyanin antioxidants in your diet and you don’t enjoy berries, make your own black rice bran using black rice and a coffee grinder – and enjoy the many health benefits of eating this special rice that was once reserved for royalty.
Eurek Alert website. “Black rice rivals pricey blueberries as source of healthful antioxidants’